BTS, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

The last episode of ‘The Walking Dead‘ shook up the show beyond belief as we saw Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes depart to headline his own trilogy of made-for-TV stand-alone films. Before he went his separate way though we got an amazing set of dead characters briefly returning which included Jon Bernthal, Sonequa Martin-Green, and Scott Wilson. However, why the flashbacks happened and why these three characters in specific were chosen may have been a mystery to some viewers.

The new showrunner Angela Kang has shared why Rick had to re-experience these characters, to begin with:

“We wanted to tell this story about Rick and his heroism, and we’d thought about what’s been the thing that’s been driving Rick for the entire series — not just in these last two episodes, but throughout. He was a man who woke up alone in this apocalypse and was looking for his family. It was a very simple search. Over time, he found this entire group that is this larger family for him. He has always been driven by the notion that he needs to protect people and keep them safe. And sometimes, that has led to some really complex decisions, and sometimes that’s led to him hurting people or doing things unilaterally. This season, he is dealing with some of the fallout from that and knowing that this firefight erupted when he has been trying to build this community is difficult for him. But he feels like he has to make things happen. The idea of Rick’s dreams and hallucinations came from a discussion about what happens to people when they are dying, and their bodies are shutting down. A very common phenomenon is something called the third-man factor where a lot of people, when their bodies are not doing well, can often imagine that there is a person there trying to guide you out of trouble. Sometimes it’s somebody you know. We thought that that was an interesting opportunity to bring back certain characters from various points of Rick’s journey that had a particular influence on him.”

Now there is some speculation as to why the deceased characters of Shane, Sasha, and Hershel were chosen instead of – say Carl or his wife:

“Shane, in a lot of ways, triggered so much of the change in Rick compared to who he was in the first two seasons. This guy who led with this brutal gut instinct and reminded Rick to keep his courage up.

Sasha was like a soldier and was able to have a larger view of the things that have happened and of Rick’s relative place in them. She had a perspective on the fact that people do die in this world, but it doesn’t mean that they’re forgotten. It means that it’s part of the way things move on. It gives him that final push to continue his mission as a soldier who helps his entire group.

Herschel was like a father figure to Rick and has this image of a kind of heaven that’s a rest for him and reminds Rick of the heart of these matters. It was wonderful having Scott back. We didn’t know at the time that he was sick. He told us that after he shot his scene. We were blessed to have him back for his final screen appearance anywhere. He was thrilled to be there. I hope that people who loved that character enjoy seeing him on screen again because we certainly loved having him so very much.”

It should also be noted how much like Shane many of Rick’s later actions in the series could be compared to.

Do you agree with why Rick Grimes ended up having these actors return for the final outing with Rick Grimes on ‘The Walking Dead’ series before heading off to his own set of films? Would you have preferred to see any of the other deceased cast members also make an appearance? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter.